All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 70 points (0.4%) at 17,562 as of Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,588 issues advancing vs. 1,312 declining with 168 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.8% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.4%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Entergy ( ETR), down 2.4%, WEC Energy Group ( WEC), down 2.4%, American Electric Power ( AEP), down 2.1%, DTE Energy ( DTE), down 1.6% and Huaneng Power International ( HNP), down 1.5%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector lower today:

3. Southern ( SO) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector lower today. As of noon trading, Southern is down $0.50 (-1.1%) to $44.64 on light volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.61-$45.29 after having opened the day at $45.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $45.14.

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The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. Southern has a market cap of $41.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 8.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Southern a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Southern Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, NextEra Energy ( NEE) is down $0.78 (-0.8%) to $97.98 on light volume. Thus far, 448,266 shares of NextEra Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $97.89-$98.99 after having opened the day at $98.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $98.76.

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NextEra Energy, Inc., through its subsidiaries, generates, transmits, and distributes electric energy in the United States and Canada. The company generates electricity from gas, oil, solar, coal, petroleum coke, nuclear, and wind sources. NextEra Energy has a market cap of $45.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 7.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate NextEra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates NextEra Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full NextEra Energy Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) is down $0.84 (-1.2%) to $67.77 on light volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.56-$68.46 after having opened the day at $68.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.61.

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Duke Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. It operates through three segments: Regulated Utilities, International Energy, and Commercial Power. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $47.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 17.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Duke Energy Corporation Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 3 stocks, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the utilities sector could consider Utilities Select Sector SPDR ( XLU) while those bearish on the utilities sector could consider ProShares UltraShort Utilities ( SDP).